Shadows of the Past

My Disciples,

I spent some time today looking through old photos on the computer. I had planned to find a photo or two of Brother Oliver from a couple years ago. He was slightly thinner then, and I wanted to prove to him that he’s put on a few pounds, and that maybe he should slow down on the snacks. I mean, I really don’t know if that’s true. So I guess the photos were going to be My way of checking to make sure I was right. If it turned out I was wrong, I planned to figure out how to make Brother Oliver look thinner in the photo before I showed it to him. I just know that he’s been eating too many of My snacks lately and I’d like him to stop.

Anyway, before I found a good photo of Brother Oliver, I stumbled across a folder full of miscellaneous photos that I had never seen before. One of them caught My eye immediately. It was taken on September 9, 2011. Here it is:

Thomas, Domino and Franklin 1

Here is the first photo I found. Look behind the flower on the left.

It was hard to make out exactly what was going on in the photo. At first I thought it was just two cats. Then I realized the two cats were Domino and Franklin. Then I saw a third cat looking out at Me from the left side of the photo. I zoomed in for a closer look. I gasped as I made out the face.

Thomas Kitten closer

I zoomed in for a closer look at the third cat. It was Thomas.

It was Thomas. Of course it was Thomas! That alley is where he met the Guardians! It is where they attempted to gain his trust. But I just couldn’t believe how small he had been when he was tossed out into Limbo by his former guardians. I quickly looked for additional photos, but found only one more from that day. It showed Thomas standing in between Franklin and Domino, and this really gave a good perspective on his size. Franklin was only a kitten himself, but Thomas was practically an infant!

Thomas, Domino and Franklin 2

Here is the second photo. Look how small Thomas was!

I don’t have to wonder what it must have been like for him to be out in the dangerous world at that age. As the son of two ferals, I was born into that world. What I can’t understand though is why someone took a kitty that was not born of that world, and then intentionally threw him out into it. And I’m not just talking about Thomas here, but Franklin sitting beside him as well. I get that some people think an adult cat like Domino could handle himself outside (even though I disagree), but how anyone could possibly think these tiny kittens could or should fend for themselves is beyond Me.

Obviously, it was beyond the Guardians of Otis’s comprehension as well. Franklin now lives in a loving, indoor only, forever home, and Thomas… well… you know where Thomas is.

Thomas now

See. Here he is. He’s bigger now, but Here he is. And here he will stay.

The only one of the three alleyway kitties whose fate remains unknown is Domino. We know that he was retrieved on the day that Thomas was left to fend for himself in a garbage pile. We know he was picked up by someone who was not his guardian, but who he obviously knew and trusted. We know that man was an older gentleman we had never seen before, who dressed nicely and drove a nice car, and who knew Domino’s name. We know he called Domino, and that Domino ran to him and jumped into the car. The door closed. The car left. That is all we know.

Domino 060912

This is one of the last times we saw Domino.

When I think about Dom nowadays, I picture him sitting contentedly in the sun on a bright, warm day. His belly is full, his fur is groomed, and he is excitedly watching a small flock of crunchy little birds feeding in a nearby tree. He chatters, firing off his “kitty machine gun” noises at the birds, but he makes no attempt to run after them. This is not because he doesn’t want to, but rather because he can’t. You see, Dom is enjoying the sun and watching the birds through a large picture window. His days of running the alley and visiting neighbors in search of affection are over. He has new Guardians that truly see him, and love him, and they wouldn’t dream of letting him roam free.

I have no way of knowing whether or not that is true, but I wish with all of My heart that it is. And not just for Dom, but also for Beatrice, Whisper, Zephyr, Poppy, Jack, and every other Limbo kitty we have known who is no longer in the neighborhood. I think about them often and purr for their well being. They all deserved so much better than the hand they were dealt.

So Sayeth Otis

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24 Comments

Filed under Daily Life, The Good Word

24 responses to “Shadows of the Past

  1. They certainly did deserve better.

  2. You got me teary first thing in the morning dear boy with this….I have a cat friend named Morris (we named him that) I had mentioned a time ago that I thought had been left to his own that has since not been seen again and we hope he was collected by the owners family to be cared for as she had said. Thomas was such a little wee fellow in those pictures and Domino was so beautiful! Sigh. So many souls pass through our lives such as these and we wonder. We had a neighbor dog named Lucy (swweeeet border collie) who loved to play ball with anyone who would and we were told she had been taken to a farm….Pinky, Pinto, Chocolate, Snowflake, Daisy…where are they and are they loved? I can only hope and pray that is so. Thankfully we KNOW Thomas is in fantastic company (you boys and Guardians) and is dearly loved. That helps a little doesn’t it?

    • It does help a little, Saymber. It also helps to know that others are having similar experiences, and truly caring about the lives of the animals with whom they come into contact, even if they are not their “official” Guardians. Thanks so much for being part of the solution. 🙂

  3. The past few days, you have been making me cry for all the kitties I can’t save.

  4. mistletoeandhitch

    All kitties deserve better than to be tossed out to fend for themselves. I know that we allowed our cats to roam outdoors when I was a child. We were taught that kitties should be kept indoors and protected when a neighbor threatened our beloved Buckwheat. We worked very hard to help Buckwheat learn to love being an indoor only cat, but he seemed to believe it was his job to hunt the fields behind our home and return each day with a “meal” for the family. Because he was so unhappy we drove 700 miles to my grandparents farm. There he had acres to roam and little traffic on the dirt road that lead to my grandparents “driveway”. Buckwheat disappeared for almost a week after we left him. Returning thin, bedraggled and depressed. He didn’t understand how his family could have left him. But he wasn’t happy indoors and he wasn’t safe outdoors in our world. He lived out his life as a king of cats. Elevated in status by his relationship to beloved grandchildren. No other cat was allow a seat at the breakfast table. That was 40 years ago. Now, even there, paved road run through sub-divisions populated by families looking for the world that our Buckwheat lived in. And I learned at the tender age of 10 that good Guardians keep their four-legged family indoor and protects them just like any child. Luckily for me, my mother also learned that lesson that so many her age refused to learn. Many cats and dogs have blessed my life since Buckwheat but he stands out in many ways. The lesson he taught me has kept every animal since safely inside the walls of our family, where they belong. I wish I could teach that lesson to everyone that allows their animals to roam. I hope that every lost sign we see that lesson has been learned. I know it hasn’t been learned by all, but still, I hope.
    Thank you for spreading this important lesson,
    Mistletoe & Hitch’s HuMom,
    Dorothy
    RWB

    • Your story is one of hope, Dorothy. Humans can learn and change. I know that even My Guardians have had outdoor kitties in the past. Only by suffering terrible loss have they come to the light. My hope is that others can learn that lesson without suffering the pain for themselves. Thanks so much for being a true kitty Guardian! 🙂

  5. Batya Harlow

    Well said. And bless you for saying it over and over and . . .

  6. Murphy

    Otis – I’ve pawed away my tears and have a little idea. Maybe other Guadiana have photos of their cats in Limbo and current picturrs of them safe and happy after they were rescued. Maybe showing these would help others understand how important keeping cats inside can be.
    PS. The cute kitten Thomas has grown into a handsome young man.

  7. Thomas was so tiny! Oh the poor baby! My heart breaks for baby Thomas, but I’m so thankful that he’s safe and warm now!
    I’m glad Franklin is safe too and we hope that the mysterious man has Domino fat and happy and completely indoors now!
    Extra hugs and smooches to Thomas please!

  8. Poor cats! At least they found homes. Precious’ sister Pumpkin and Gingi (a sweet, tame neighborhood cat from a few years back) were not so lucky. We don’t know what happened to them, but they were partially white, making it harder for them to hide from hawks, etc. Thomas’s dark stripes probably made it easier for him to hide from predators until you found him.

  9. spittythekitty

    Oh oh oh squee! Thomas was a really, really cute baby, Leader Otis. No wonder Your Guardians could not resist saving him. We are sorry we missed yesterday, but The Human went to a SuperBowl Pawty and then things turned out not to be so Super after all here in San Francisco, and then we were all too depressed to visit. But now we are philosophical: We have decided that the World Series and the NFC championship was enough for one year.

    Well, actually SHE has decided that. I really don’t care about a lot of rich men in tight pants, know what I’m sayin’?

    • I totally know what you’re sayin’, Spitty. Rich men it tight pants trying to get a scrap of dead pig past a line on a field… not so interesting in My opinion. Now, if they were all trying to capture a red dot, THAT I could watch! 🙂

  10. Awe, cute baby Thomas! You’d think the natural response to such a cute little kitty would be to keep him safe inside with you and play with him every spare moment.

  11. O my dog he was tiny!!

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